July 13, 2006 – Washington Stateâ€™s attorney general announced yesterday that his office is appealing a federal court ruling that barred the state from enforcing a voter-approved law against dumping more waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
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As previously reported by The NewStandard, the Hanford dump â€“ leftover from efforts to build the atomic bomb â€“ is considered the most contaminated nuclear waste site in the country. Cleanup of the site has been rife with delays and contract abuses, while almost a million gallons of radioactive sludge has leaked into the surrounding groundwater. The site is managed by the US Department of Energy.
In 2004, voters in Washington approved Initiative 297, a measure prohibiting Hanford from accepting more waste until the waste already stored there is cleaned up. Last month, US District Judge Alan McDonald ruled the state did not have power to enforce the ban because it violates the interstate-commerce clause of the US Constitution.